It all started with a dream.
As I suppose most things do. A not so normal and yet ordinary dream, many wouldn’t spare a glance at. I don’t remember most of it, bits and pieces clawing at my brain but I remember what I had to. What I was supposed to.
The dream was confusing really, as most dreams are. Since you dream about 5 to 7 a night, you can’t possibly remember them all.
I remember comforting my best friend, something about her problems. I remember a party, dancing, joy, singing, drinking. I remember criticizing a friend, about a magic trick. I remember trying to find cash somewhere with someone but we found Chocolate instead. I remember someone drawing. It was a pretty drawing. Unfortunately I spilled water over it and this someone got mad and went to get tissues. I, hah, I remember this girl.
She had asian features and bangs. I don’t know why I remember that. Her hair was pitch black, like the dead of the night, like the crows outside my window. I was sad for some reason and she spoke to me calmly, comforting me.
And she asked me why I was upset, why my face was contorted in such a grimace. I said: “Because I’ve been messing things up the whole day. I feel so bad. I wish somebody would help.”
She held my hand, pat my back and smiled at me. With that smile she whispered: “Don’t you worry your pretty head, nothing is wrong. You didn’t mess up a thing. Now I know there’s a smile hidden inside that grimace. C’mon smile a little.”
My mood went up instantly, for some reason her presence calmed me. She made me feel safe, she made me feel yellow instead of the blue I painted my room in.
She drew me a flower. Right onto my hand. From the back to the front. She held my hand so gently and told me that spider lilies reminded her of me.
I remember a crush, forming inside my heart. She took a part of my heart and held in between her palms. So gently, like a mother holding her child for the first time.
And I noticed, she never spoke unless it was needed. She didn’t put herself into the spotlight, perhaps she didn’t need to. She was quiet, expresses herself through art and drawing. Her drawings truly were magnificent. More so than the Mona Lisa or Starry night, if you ask me.
And I remember being so awkward, so gay panicking if we choose that expression but I wanted her number. Sadly, I didn’t get it. My best friend pulled me away and I was in another dream.
The next dream was funny. I remember a dance competition. And a ****** asking why it had to be Kpop. Some other guy, who we will call, the only one that matters, answered: “Because the era of western music is over.”
I remember waking up. Blood on my pillow and some still running out of my nose.
I talked to my friend about it. About the dream I had. To be honest I had so many weird ones back then, it was truly not a surprise.
We made so many theories. Researched what the spider lilly meant. We threw out some mad theories, some slightly believable and one, that I couldn’t forget.
I managed to remember the girl’s name, after two days or three. It was Mei, or Mai, the spelling wasn’t quite there with me.
Ever since then, the theory stuck with me. It was in the back of my mind, sitting, waiting. And the meaning of spider lilies somehow scared me. Or creeped me out.
They meant a bad omen, a passing of souls over to the Forgotten river. They mean passing from summer to autumn. They have so many meanings all slightly different and yet similar. All quite sad really. One of the meanings was sort of a saying.
“When you meet a person, you will never see again, spider lilies will grace your path.”
I pushed it to the back of my mind again. Saved it for days when I needed something to think about, something to bring me into my own world. Something to distract me from the one I’m living in.
I read so many stories, cried so many tears and finally I was 21, going on an adventure, away from my home, away from what’s holding me down.
I traveled the world, met so many people. I saw so many different cultures, all of them so interesting on their own. I saw so many sights, people would pay for. I visited all the big cities and then smaller ones. The small ones were always the kindest.
I slept in so many hotel rooms, so many beds.Sometimes I slept on the grass or crashed at someone’s place. Sometimes I slept on the bus or on an airplane.
And slowly it was beginning to weigh me down. All the moving, all the new faces, no place to call home, no place to come to when I needed someone, somewhere. And with the thought of home, I decided to settle down. Find myself a nice apartment, maybe a small house. One to call my own, one to decorate however I wished.
And it was hard at first. But slowly I found a small house, a cottage of sorts, in Busan of all places. It was a town, I had previously visited, and it seemed as though my soul wanted to rest here.
There were green trees, windy days and stormy seas. And through it all, I only started to love the place more and more. I finally found my home.
Went on a train to Seoul. Wanted to get some shopping done, plus I had enough to buy myself something small, maybe another book, or another flower. They really were expensive these days. Or perhaps my taste in things changed. I wanted only the best for my home.
The day was sunny, a pretty nice spring day, not too warm, not too cold.
I was carrying two bags, filled with groceries and a bag with a book and a plant inside. I couldn’t decide which to buy, so I bought both.
I was around the corner of the train station when I bumped into her.
Time slowed down as soon as I saw the hands that helped me pick up one of the bags. The hands I haven’t seen in so long, the last and only time I did, was in my dream.
My hands started to shake and I hoped that it wasn’t too noticeable. I looked up and the first thing I saw, was jet black hair and bangs accompanying her face. She was beautiful, even more so than what I dreamt.
She helped me put the bag on my shoulder then smiled, so beautifully, I felt like I was dreaming all over again.
She smiled again, nodding. She tucked a stray hair behind her ear and I watched how her hand moved and couldn’t help but notice the spider lily tattoo behind her ear. Not completely red, possibly magenta. It was small and simple and my eyes watered.
What is this. What is my life.
“Sara? It’s been so long,” she let out almost whispering. She really was like I dreamt all those years ago.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She knew my name? How did she? What was the purpose of this? What was the reason behind it all, the dreams, her name, spider lilies, her. What was it? Would I ever know?
Unconsciously I started moving backwards, away from her. This was too much, I finally settled down, my life calmed down and in comes her. Practically waltzing into my life like it was hers. Like she was allowed to.
I didn’t allow her anything. I didn’t allow the gods to play such games with me. And with all the power I had left I croaked out a ‘no’ and looked down. Since when was I sitting on the floor?
I looked up again when she whispered: “It’s alright, maybe in another life.”
She smiled at me for one last time, then turned around and left like she didn’t just destroy my life. I watched her leave, her hair was in a ponytail and it moved with the wind and her movement.
I watched her leave, until I couldn’t see her anymore. Until she wasn’t even a spot in the distance. And then I broke down. I don’t know how long I sat there, but my pants were dirty and so were my hands after holding to the floor for dear life.
I grabbed my bags, stood up. I had to wait for a few movements so I wouldn’t faint. And then I left too. That spot, that forever after that burned my eyes, because I could still see her hair, and her pretty hands, and her beautiful smile, every time I passed.
And like the saying went, after that, I never saw her again. But every week, there’s a spider lily somewhere, whether be it in front of a store, or in my backyard. She left but a part of her stayed.
Those spider lilies, reminding me of someone I used to be, of someone I might never be again.
As it all started with a dream, my story ends with one too.
The dream of my bed being surrounded by spider lilies, gracing my path until I took a step into that river and never knew thought of this life again.